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21 Jun 2006
In assessing the forthcoming changes in climate, Russian scientist Oleg Sorokhtin from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS promises us that in the foreseeable future we will witness only a cooling, and a really significant cooling at that. This forecast is based on analysis of changes in the Earth’s precession angle, meaning the angle of the inclination of the Earth’s axis on which the Earth rotates around the Sun, and on the dependence of the average temperature of the Earth upon this angle: the lesser the precession angle, the colder the climate.

Sorokhtin created a graph curve of the average temperature changes of the Earth of the late Pleistocene. The total duration of climatic cycles is equal to about 100-120,000 years. The last sweeping warming of the climate (after the end of the Wurm glaciation) ended about ten thousand years ago, after which a new cooling commenced. The scientist’s theoretical calculations compared well with data obtained on the basis of ice temperature determination accordant to hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in the Antarctic ice mass at the Vostok station.

The climate forecast created on the basis of these data shows that in future we are to expect a total cooling, interspersed with temporary, but not very long-lived periods of warming, which is linked with changes in solar activity (from the last such period of warming we have already begun to creep towards cooling). It cannot be ruled out that the forthcoming cold cycle will prove to be the harshest for the last 400,000 years. It is true that the new phase of glaciation, thankfully for us, will start no earlier than in 50,000 years.